The First in Alaska... - Hyder, AK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 55° 54.716 W 130° 01.042
9U E 436406 N 6196745
Quick Description: This marker is located near Alaska's first masonry building just across the Canadian border in Hyder, Alaska.
Location: Alaska, United States
Date Posted: 7/25/2013 6:53:05 PM
Waymark Code: WMHN33
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Megadrile
Views: 0

Long Description:
The marker reads:

This humble storehouse was Alaska's first masonry building.

Built in 1896 by the Army Corps of Engineers, "Storehouse #4" was for many years a mystery to residents and visitors. In 1975 its true story was unravelled by curious residents.

They discovered that their small brick building was part of an Army Corps of Engineers' expedition to Alaska in 1896. In August, Captain David D. Gaillard was ordered to investigate Portland Canal, the waterway marking the Alaska-Canada border. He was also to build four storehouses along the Canal's west bank. The lighthouse tender Manzanita was assigned to the mission. Loaded with coal, supplies, equipment, and materials (including all the cement, lumber, nails and shingles for the storehouses) she left Seattle on August 29 and reached the head of Portland Canal four days later.

Workmen and supplies were unloaded here at Eagle Point, and, as the tender returned down the Canal, at three other locations. Working quickly amid rain and mosquitoes, the crew completed Storehouse #4 on September 21, 1896.

As a result of the decision of a 1903 Boundary Tribunal, the Alaska-Canada border was re-established north of Pearse and Wales Islands, and thereafter Storehouses #1 and #2 have been on Canadian soil.

Where Are They Now?

Gaillard's expedition constructed four masonry storehouses, spaced along the Portland Canal.

In many cases, these small structures have been reclaimed by the surrounding rain forest. All four structures have been located by area residents, although only Storehouse #4 has been restored.

A Life of Service

West Point graduate Captain David DuBose Gaillard, spent his life building the foundations of the new country.

After his Alaska expedition, Gaillard served on the US-Mexico International Boundary Commission, in the Spanish-American War in Cuba, and with the Isthmian (Panama) Canal Commission.

His work on the notorious Culebra Cut through the backbone of the isthmus is legendary. Sadly, he died of a brain tumor before seeing the canal completed. The Panama Canal opened nine months after his death, and Culebra Cut was renamed Gaillard Cut in his honor. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Marker Name: The First in Alaska...

Marker Type: Roadside

Addtional Information:
There are two other markers located at this site.


Date Dedicated / Placed: Unknown

Marker Number: None

Visit Instructions:
Preferred would be to post a photo of you OR your GPS at the marker location. Also if you know of any additional links not already mentioned about this bit of Alaska history please include that in your log.
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